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tv   Inside Washington  PBS  December 2, 2011 8:00pm-8:30pm EST

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>> production assistance for "inside washington." >> this week on "inside washington." front runner, newt gingrich. mitt romney feeling the heat. >> he is a lifelong politician. >> herman cain is on the ropes. >> are you going to drop out? >> barney frank calling it quits item i do not choose to run for congress in 2012. also, joe biden in iraq as the troops prepare to leave.
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>> who is this guy? can we trust him? >> and is this a great season for campaign ads or what? >> we do not always see eye to eye. >> no, but we agree our country must take action to address climate change. >> newt gingrich says he is the only one in the room than i did not know i was dead. this week, he received the endorsement of the conservative manchester leader. this is the same degree choose campaign staff walked off the job in june. the same one that mark shields has characterized on this program has carried more baggage than united van lines. here is gingrich in south carolina. >> i have a very long record of
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persistence. >> i have a very long record of consistency. does anyone have a problem with that sentence? the chair recognizes dr. krug hammer for about 20 seconds. >> i think there is no doubt he is on a rocket ride right now. the party, for a few weeks, was considering herman cain as a serious candidate for the presidency. the man who says the country needs a leader, not a reader. certainly, they can nominate newt gingrich. i do not know how probable, but more likely than it did a few months ago. >> mark, the republican field, mitt romney, rick santorum, ron
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paul, michele bachmann, jon huntsman, stand between a landslide reelection victory of barack obama, if newt gingrich is the nominee. if newt gingrich is the nominee, it will not be a competitive race. it will be a landslide, a walk to reelection, had a major time when the country needs a leader. >> i do not think barack obama has not such a good life that he deserves or will get distinguished from his opponents, but it is possible at the moment, because of the time. we are close to the iowa caucuses and new hampshire primary. it feels like this has been going on for ever, and will go on forever, but it is about a month or less. the time to watch that fizzle is evaporating and he beat the time, he beat the clock. >> i have a long record of
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consistency. colby, do you find anything wrong with that statement? >> god answers democratic prayers. i hope, if we hold on, that newt will make it. that would be beautiful. >> in manchester publisher said, it is pretty clear, the guy that stands out from the crowd is newt gingrich. could he actually win the republican presidential nomination? charles? >> if it were to be decided this week, i think he would, actually. but because it is a long slog, because the election will be done on a proportional basis -- you did not win all the delegates in the state if you win that state. i am not sure he can do it for the long haul. he is on a rocket ride, but i think he will come down to earth.
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he may do it, but i do not think he has the structure to build the delicate county would need. >> gingrich's says he can win the nomination. can he, mark? >> nobody who has won both states, new hampshire and iowa, has been denied. i think scrutiny -- the only speaker in the history of the united states to be disciplined by his colleagues that the plea for violation of tax laws. he paid a $1,000 fine. he left the speakership legget was a voluntary changing of tires. there was a revolt within his own ranks scheming to get rid of him. it was a very popular move. >> can he win the nomination, nina? >> i think he could, but it is unlikely. even as i say the democrats should be so lucky, i should
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also say, be careful what you wish for. >> colby? >> i hope he does. >> can he? >> if he comes out of new hampshire a close second, goes on to win south carolina, he will carry a lot of those southern states. he stands a good chance, except his biggest enemy will be newt gingrich. he may include somewhere. >> a close second in new hampshire, 1992, perceived as the winner sometimes. >> mitt romney is the prohibitive favorite because he was governor of massachusetts. he is well liked to there. >> the problem with romney, the case for him, he can win. there is not a compelling case that he gives, voluntarily anyway, that they like from the, they believe in romney, they
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think he will make a big impact. i think romney has to forge a case for himself, as well as a case against gingrich. >> it is not only a calculation about who can win. that is an important element. the other problem is there is a suspicion in the base on the people who decide who wins caucuses and primaries that he is not a true conservative. newt has -- he has all the baggage in the world. not just the personal stuff and the lobbying. it is all the flips and flops he did. that you showed with him on pelosi and global warming. that is one of 20. what he has, the conservative movement credits him for a great event, the takeover of the house of the 1990's, after half a century of it being owned by
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democrats. thus, he has earned credit with them. the problem is, when you have independents and democrats in the general auction, that counts for nothing. that is why he will have a hell of a hard time in the general election, but he could win the nomination. >> having heard from ginger white who said she spent 13 years in the arms of herman cain, have we not heard the last from mr. king? >> mr. kane should buy a one way ticket home, should have a sitdown with mrs. cain, who will be raising cain about it nativities. >> the campaign is in trouble when the candidates voluntarily uses in a press conference consensual.
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from evan's hear thomas, from politico. mitt romney, what have you learned? >> surprisingly, he has a sense of humor. it is well hidden. he has an absurdist sense of humor, and this is a humiliating process running for president, and he does not take all that seriously. he learned in 2008. to learn from your mistakes. that is the biggest story. romney learn from his mistakes. >> newt gingrich, what about him? >> he was pretty giddy about it. everyone wrote him off. he is comparing himself to the man who started walmart, the man
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who defied all conservative experts. >> the obama campaign, do they have a plan? >> no, he has no plan. i think they will certainly feel it will be romney. they will make him into the wall street cheater. id will not be obama himself, but the campaign will be tough on romney. >> that is evan thomas from politico. interesting concept. mark shields and i sat in on a focus group last night. what did we learn from that? >> mitt romney does not have an emotional connection with voters. republicans do not think they have a strong field. they are somewhat disappointed. they want to win.
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they really want to win. >> what sticks in my head, a woman said, i want somebody to be excited about, someone i can campaign for. >> you have to say, this is a weak field. at this stage, people often feel that way, and then they get excited later. i agree with you, mitt romney, he is like everybody's first husband. the guy you really do not want to see. but he is actually a very disciplined candidate. the worst thing that has happened to him other than newt gingrich, is that he suggested in an interview on fox that he was not going to do well. >> it was not that he did not do well, it was a disaster. from his point of view, this was
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an opportunity for him to do something simple, discuss his record. it was during disconcerting to see romney crack under that. this guy cannot take it. >> he had been running a pretty good campaign over all. >> it is sort of like the new england patriots. they have a bigger ego than they are sitting on. one challenge after another to self destruct, combust spontaneously. newt might or might not. ronnie's problem, running in this field, when you have these debates -- there have been 11 of them, and they have determined everything up until now -- when you are on the stage with nine others, nobody gets importance. when he did the interview, brett
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was ready and would follow up every answer with another question, and he was also well prepared and had previous statements. it was an unusual situation that romney had not encountered before. as the field narrows, he may have a hard time. >> after more than three decades in congress, barney frank is quitting. the massachusetts congressman. we had a tip o'neill, we had a president, two senators. things are changing. what is your reaction to this? ifas far as i'm concerned, the person that represents the district votes the way that barney frank votes, nothing will change. in fact, it will be a gain. i am not a fan of barney frank. he is mean and nasty.
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>> i am a fan. when i read all the stories, i did not realize he was that mean to people. >> he does not like stupid questions. >> if you say that, then do not give me a stupid answer. he is so smart. the thing is, when you read hank paulson's book, you read, as we were about to go off a cliff, it would party frank who worked with the bush administration who kept us from going off the cliff. >> barney frank was first elected state representative in 1972. george mcgovern lost 49 of the 50 states. barney frank went up to him and said, senator, i won on your
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coattails. burnie has had a remarkable career. the personality problems are real, but the intellect is telling. >> he will be remembered as the guy, who in the years, where we could have reined in fannie and freddie, defended and protected them, try to intimidate those who wanted to tell the truth about it. he is leaving and the congress will have on a better level of civil discourse. >> let's talk about the economy. the unemployment down to 8.6%. the stock market going up. colby, the white house must be happy about this. >> republicans are probably not because the economy seems to be making traction. the stock market, to put this
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into context, this is simply from banks intervening in the debt crisis. that gives some reassurance to the markets globally that there might be some solution to this. that would just be temporary. the european problem is deeper than that. that will impact the economy as well. >> i watched a news conference with john boehner and eric cantor, and they seemed ready to deal. >> they were ready to deal with the payroll tax cut because -- >> there is other legislation, too. >> they do not want to be associated with people who favor the rich. people making $75,000 or less. if you want to extend the bush tax cuts for people who are making more than $250,000 a year, but we do not want to extend the payroll tax cut for
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people who make considerably less, it puts you in a political unpleasant situation. >> it is all about politics. everything the administration has done, all the legislation it has introduced, was aimed at making a narrative for the election year of class war. republicans are the protectors of the rich. obama cannot run on ideology, obamacare, stimulus. something he is touting. he cannot run on stewardship, the country is in bad shape. he will run on class warfare. the payroll tax, there is no way that things a one-year holiday is going to have any affect on employment. it is purely a political ploy. that will be used for the campaign.
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all i'm saying is part of a larger strategy that is about framing. and the paragraph. your turn. >> it is also true that you do not have a recovery unless people have money in their pockets to spend. i do not care how many tax breaks you give to wealthy people. two so-called create jobs here they are not going to create jobs unless there is a demand for services and products, and there will not be unless there is money in people's pocketbooks. >> john boehner showed why he is speaker of the house. he saved the republican from maneuvering themselves in a position where we want the tax cuts for donald trump, but not for ordinary people. that is exactly where they went. they were opposed to the tax cuts for people earning $55,000,
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$60,000 a year, cops and firefighters. the reality, frankly, is, tax cuts is a wonderful job creator, which may have not been from 2001, 2003, bush tax cuts, so he saved them from themselves. republicans have been out- maneuvered by democrats on the tax issue. now they are still leaving to climb back. >> i agree with you entirely. it is a maneuver which has had no affect on job creation. everybody knows that. it is a way to win votes. >> i do not think is manipulating the public opinion for the president of the united states to point out the philosophical differences between his party and the republican party. >> joe biden in iraq as the troops withdraw. >> it is because of you and work that others in the uniform have
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done, we are now able to end this war. >> vice-president joe biden in baghdad this week at a special ceremony honoring american and iraqi troops marching in the pending withdrawal of the troops. they will be out of the country in a matter of weeks. how will history to the iraq war? >> not kindly. we are leaving the country that is not really in our hands. is torn between the u.s. and iran. a situation that did not exist until we started the war in their country. a lot of treasure is gone, a lot of blood has been shed. getting out is probably the best thing we could have done. >> they would leave some troops there, but the iraqi government said they would not give them immunity be done that is what they said with the bush administration as well, and they negotiated around it.
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there are three large elements in the government. the maliki area, the sunni, and others. the obama administration came into a war that was run. the troop surge had succeeded, al qaeda was defeated, and the shiite militias were decimated, by maliki himself, with american and british help. he had one job, to negotiate a strategic alliance in the long term with a residual for us. he had three years to do it, failed at beckley. it was not clear how the real war will end. the ultimate end of the war, the outcome in iraq. it could be a reasonable outcome, but it has been damaged by the failure of the obama administration. >> failed by the timetable of withdrawal, to set the record straight, was set by president
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bush in 2008 and agreed to appear that timetable is now being honored. it was the first war in american history since the american- mexican war, that were paid for by tax cuts. a long and bloody war fought under pretense that there were weapons of mass destruction capable of being delivered with the threat of a nuclear plant. all of which was fraudulent and phony. >> people like charles always talk about the importance of realism in foreign policy. i do not deny saddam hussein was a horrible leader who did bad things, but if you look at the balance of power in that area of the world, we now see the main thing to worry about is iran, and there is no check on iran. that is the role that iraq used to play, and now it does not.
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>> iraq was not a check on iran. iran was disarmed. it was under agreements that it made with the united nations. we had to fly over it. we had a no-fly zone that lasted 15 years. the sanctions on iraq at the time were completely wearing away, entirely. it was only a matter of time before it rearm itself. certainly, not an ally in the region. it was the first arab dictatorship that was destroyed, overcome, and overthrown. as a result, it had a large influence on the arab spring. >> as take a look at a couple of new campaign ads. >> who is this guy? can you trust him? >> this is the ad that the democratic national committee is running on the assumption that mitt romney will be the opponent. they allege he is a flip-flop r.
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>> to the alleged the same on newt gingrich. >> i am hoping for a creative campaign season, ad-wise. what do we see as a successful campaign ads? >> truth is always helpful. >> but rarely fair. >> some have suggested the daisy commercial from 1964 that was used against barry goldwater -- it only played once but had phenomenal impact. there is a bear in the woods. most of those were enormously strong, evoked powerful emotions. now, everything a candidate says is recorded and is available. you will see a plethora of spots that feature candidates saying
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things they wish they had not said it that you cannot get away with anything these days. it is not fair. >> as we saw with the romney had against barack obama, i am not looking forward to the season. these things seem to get nastier and nastier. if it is humor, it can work. but if it is nasty, it is a turnoff. >> the worst thing is, these multimillion dollar organization that are separate from the candidate. so the candidate has no responsibility. these ads can play almost anything. there are lots of organizations, journalistic organizations that can research this and tell you if it is true or not, but it does not catch up to the average person who has the television on while they are cooking dinner. >> doesn't make you wish you
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could write one, charles? >> i write a lot of them. i disguise them in my column. i opine for the old days where nobody recorded anything. there was no transcript. we could say anything we damn well please and nobody would care. now, with politicians, everything is recorded. i said newt had the worst loss since the hindenburg comments and i wish i did not. >> that is the last word. thanks. see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log onto
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